Brown Bag STEM Challenge: Experiencing STEM Through Play

We know that children naturally engage in STEM exploration during play. Families explore STEM concepts through play with our Brown Bag STEM Challenges. We will show how to reproduce this program in informal settings, discuss hosting conversations about STEM and play, and create our own Brown Bag STEM Challenge.

At the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML), we know that children naturally engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) exploration during play. We also know it is critically important for adults themselves to become STEM-literate to support their children’s STEM literacy. To support both adults and children, families are invited to explore STEM concepts through play by tackling our Brown Bag STEM Challenges. Families receive a brown bag containing the materials needed to address the challenge, and they work as a team to design, build and test their contraptions. There is no right answer or correct design as adults and children work together to solve problems. CML Educators lead conversations with adults that focus on what STEM is and what their child is learning through the challenge and through play, such as enhancing their teamwork, communication, critical and creative thinking, flexibility, problem solving and imagination. During this session, we will discuss reproducing this program in other informal settings and engaging in conversations with adults about STEM and play. Participants will also create their own Brown Bag STEM Challenge.

About Nichole Myles

Nichole Myles assumed the role of Executive Director of CML in 2015. Throughout her career, Myles has worked in the areas of education, STEM, literacy and interdisciplinary curriculum development. Myles recently became a Furman University Riley Fellow and has served as a speaker and panelist at a variety of conferences.


About Starr Jordan

Starr Jordan is the Director of Education at CML. Previously, she served as Director of the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math at the College of Charleston, where she developed, implemented, and evaluated professional development opportunities for K-12 educators and outreach events in STEM for K-12 students.